Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest are all the rage right now, right? It is therefore only logical to harness the power of these social mediums, in order to get as much as traffic to your website as possible.
The stats pretty much speak for themselves. Facebook recently crossed 900 million users and is quickly closing in on that magical and rather monumental 1 billion users mark. Every day, almost one-third of those user check-in to their Facebook accounts. Facebook alone is responsible for generating 26% of the total referral traffic!
Twitter isn’t doing too badly either: half-a-billion users (500 mil in February 2012, to be exact) – half of which are active Twitter users, and a million new users sign up on Twitter every single day. In addition, a massive 170 million Tweets sent out every day, and Twitter also generates 4% referral traffic, just about the same as Pinterest does.
Many even believe that it is just a matter of time before traffic generated from social mediums surpasses that from Google!
So we see that social mediums alone are referring massive amounts of referral traffic, and it is quite evident that there is massive potential to generate traffic. The best part is that these social mediums are free to use, and most of us probably are already active Facebook and Twitter users, which means there would be a much small learning curve involved.
But what exactly can you do to have your website make its mark on Facebook, StumbleUpon or Twitter, get 100s of likes, shares, +1s and retweets, and generate traffic off these social networking sites? Here is a beginner-friendly guide, which lists down 5 easy steps aimed at helping you and your website be part of the social media storm!
1. Create a well-designed and attractive profile
First off, make sure that all your personal profiles are separate from your website ones. Create separate pages, groups, circles, channels and account for your website on any and all social mediums - whether it’s a Facebook fan page, Facebook group, a Twitter or a LinkedIn account or a Youtube channel.
Secondly, you need to make sure that the page is well-designed – has a proper niche-targeted name, proper information filled out such as the website URL, description and a logo. And it should look attractive – you might not have a lot of options in this regard on Twitter, for instance, But Youtube lets you build some extremely unique and attractive-looking channels.
Put the link to your website everywhere possible – on the profile, description, display image, etc. A good idea in this regard would be to watermark all your pictures with a logo and URL of your website.
A well-constructed profile will give you a good brand personality, and reflect well upon your image.
2. Engage and connect with your audience frequently
Usually, the most successful Facebook pages or Twitter profiles – usually those with a lot of ‘likes’ and followers – are those which keep reminding people that they’re there, they exist! Send out regular updates to your followers, subscribers and fans, and keep them engaged. Link back to your website as often as possible.
However know that there are certain limitations when it comes to sending out updates: send too many and people might ignore and discard your updates as spam. This varies from medium to medium – sending out a Facebook update twice a day would be the best strategy, while you could probably take liberty to send updates every few minutes on Twitter!
The important thing is to keep reminding people of your existence, and linking back to your website as often as possible.
Above all, remember that social networks are all about friends and relationships. Make sure you connect with people, reply to them, retweet and share their content, and be part of the conversation!
3. Target individuals with a high social networking potential
Facebook or Twitter users with a lot of friends, and those who are able to engage and influence a lot of people are individuals with a high social networking potential, or SNP. When one of these ’leaders’ shares content, it tends to usually be read out, retweeted, shared, and liked by a lot of people as well. You might just even see a nice surge or spike in traffic when this happens.
Your content might even spread like wildfire in some cases, allowing you to potentially ‘go viral’.
We all know such influencers from out daily lives – maybe a friend, someone from our social or professional circles, a Facebook friend with a large number of friends and subscribers even.
Connect with these people and build relationships with them. Ask them to share your content. And if they do, then make sure that your return the favor, whenever possible, by linking or sharing their content.
4. Go for paid solutions
Stuff like buying advertisement space on Facebook, sponsored or promoted tweets on Twitter usually work like a charm. Facebook Social Ads and Twitter Sponsored Tweets would be a good place to start. Sponsored tweets, for instance, is a platform where advertisers sell their tweets. Promoted tweets allow you to pay to target Twitter users in your niche.
Similarly, Facebook allows you to purchase ad-space, and the amount paid for these ads depends on how long you would the ad to run, its appearance frequency, target geographical locations, etc. Ditto for Youtube.
5. Reward your fans and followers
Giving something back to the community usually goes a long way! Find ways that you can reward the people who are following you and sharing your content. Running promotions usually is a sure-shot way of getting a lot of traffic back to your website. Sky’s the limit here – you could run a contest on the website, reward every 500th visitor on your website, add an interactive Flash-based game on your website and give winner a reward – and of course, link it all on your Facebook or Twitter.
In addtiton, running something like a Facebook-only promotion would also go a long way. Send out an update on your social mediums which includes a discount coupon; a fans-only promotion, where whenever one of your fans purchases something from your website, he is eligible to a discount.
It is up to you to determine whether you would want the reward(s) to be monetary or non-monetary. Stuff like upgraded membership, a discount, and/or access to a free eBook, a free consultation or a free lesson are good non-monetary ways of running an effective promotion campaign aimed to get more traffic on your website.